June 26, 2006 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Ingredientfilter: this page accurately describes pizzoccheri as a dish (Italy: Valtelina), but I find the usage of bok choi as an ingredient decidedly non-authentic. Steer me or the author right?

PS -- I thought there was something -in- the buckwheat noodles the few times I had it. Rosemary perhaps. The lack of proper rolling technology at the time meant I wasn't paying attention, much.
posted by Ogre Lawless to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
I think it answers your question in the page you linked to:

"And if you were wondering how bok choi ended up in an Italian recipe: The original recipe calls for cabbage, but blanched bok choi stalks are crisper and give a better texture I think. Basically I couldn't find any cabbage when I last made pizzoccheri for my mother, brother and Chuck Hanrahan a few months back and I substituted. It worked out very well."
posted by advil at 3:22 PM on June 26, 2006

Bok choi in an italian recipe is most decidedly unauthentic. But who cares? Surely the most important thing is how it tastes!

One of the modern wonders of the world is the ability to mix ingredients that happen to be native to opposite sides of the globe. Embrace and enjoy! Tradition for traditions sake is just plain silly.

Thanks for the recipe, BTW, sounds tasty!
posted by bella.bellona at 3:33 PM on June 26, 2006

Plus that's not even that 'unauthentic' really - this is bok choi (that's known in Italy as 'cavolo cinese', Chinese cabbage) and this is what Italians call 'coste' and they can be used in place of the savoy cabbage in the traditional recipe. They don't look too different.

If anything, it's the oven part and the usage of spaghetti that's more different from the original - pizzoccheri is the name of that specific pasta blend and shape rather than the overall recipe, so this is spaghetti with the most classic pizzoccheri condiment (plus the oven bit). Sounds like a nice substitute!

Here's how to make your own from scratch.
posted by funambulist at 4:38 PM on June 26, 2006

They're all related anyway. Italy's got plenty of local brassicae.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:53 PM on June 26, 2006

I suggest that bok choi is a far more authentic ingredient in italian cooking than tomatoes. They got noodles from the orient so why not cabbage? Tomatoes aren't exactly native to eurasia.
posted by Tixylix at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2006

Thanks there, Big Fun -- I figured there was a natural equivalent in the global marketplace but that the Italians weren't going to be calling it bok choi. Also good looking out on setting me straight re: pasta. I again suspected this to be the case.

As far as I can tell, the pasta itself may be buckwheat. I'm not sure of the other consistent ingredient, the herb, in the pasta. I figure that I'm going to have to scratch make that aspect to really get the dish right...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:39 AM on June 27, 2006

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